The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors has selected Mesa resident and former state Rep. Dave Farnsworth to serve the remainder of outgoing state Sen. Rich Crandall’s term.
Farnsworth, who served in the state House of Representatives in the 1990s, was picked by the supervisors during their Sept. 11 meeting and beat out Rep. Kelly Townsend and former Rep. John Fillmore to serve as Legislative District 16’s senator. LD16 encompasses Mesa and Apache Junction and covers parts of Maricopa and Pinal counties, and the three candidates were selected by Republican precinct committee members who reside within LD16 and in the district’s Maricopa County confines.
Farnsworth is scheduled to be sworn in at 1 p.m. on Thursday during a ceremony in downtown Phoenix.
During the selection process, county spokesperson Cari Gerchick said the supervisors had a number of means to pick the final candidate that included one-on-one interviews with the prospective replacements and a single or multiple supervisors. While the final choice belongs to the entire board, Gerchick said the supervisor representing the district where the replacement will come from — in this case District 2 Supervisor Steve Chucri — can have a stronger voice in the process than the other supervisors.
“They tend to have a little more impact,” she said.
The supervisors were also limited by state law on who they could select as a replacement, as Gerchick said the board could only pick a candidate who resides in Maricopa County even though LD16 encompasses two counties. State law also mandates replacements be of the same political party as the person leaving, which limited the search to members of the Republican Party.
Farnsworth will serve the remaining 16 months of Crandall’s term. Crandall announced in June he would leave his position to become the head of Wyoming’s Department of Education.
“They have infrastructure already in place, broadband technology. As far as National Board Certification (of teachers), they are in the top three,” he said in a previous interview. “With infrastructure, great teachers and resources, there are some incredible opportunities.”
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